Humanist Lawyer, Public Career: Thomas More and Conscience

  • Travis Curtright
  • Moreana, June 2009, Edinburgh University Press
  • DOI: 10.3366/more.2009.46.1.9

Thomas More: Humanist Lawyer and his Public Career

What is it about?

Because Thomas More did not introduce grand programs of Utopian policy through new legislation, or modify the fundamental nature of British law with principles of humanist jurisprudence, most scholars regard More as a follower of Cardinal Wolsey’s legal innovations and not much of a reformer himself. This essay will challenge that perception, presenting More as a humanist reformer by examining the importance of equity to humanist legal and rhetorical studies and by showing how More viewed the law as part of the liberal arts.

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